HomeOutdoorsCoyote Sightings in Cities on the Rise as Mating Season Starts

Coyote Sightings in Cities on the Rise as Mating Season Starts

by Quentin Blount
Photo by Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

It’s coyote mating season. So, don’t be too surprised if some of you Outsiders start seeing some wherever you live. That could be out in the country, or even in the big city.

From now until around March or so, coyotes will be out on the move looking for a mate. We know that the animal is native to North America and that they mainly thrive out in rural areas. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist in big cities. As a matter of fact, coyotes are just about everywhere — from Los Angeles to New York City, to, in this case, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Katie Byrne, a Weather multimedia journalist for FOX, recently sat down for an interview with game warden Jerry Czech. He’s based in Pennsylvania and says that it’s not only the mating season that is leading to an increase in coyote sightings. It’s also the fact that more people are venturing back outdoors more thanks to some of the pandemic lockdowns being lifted.

“Most of the time people are calling because they’re concerned they see a coyote and they don’t think a coyote belongs in the city, and they are everywhere,” Czech said. “They’re in every county in Pennsylvania, they’re in the suburbs.”

For the most part, coyotes will go out of their way to avoid people. As a matter of fact, they are naturally most active at dawn and at dusk. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t take advantage of daylight hours when they have to.

“Most of the time they’re, they’re nocturnal, basically,” he explained. “So most people aren’t seeing them because they’re out at night. Could they be out during the day? Of course.”

What Should You Do If You Encounter a Coyote?

It goes without saying that you may be startled to see a coyote rifling through your garbage, be it in a city or out in the country. But for the most part, according to Czech, they are completely harmless animals.

With that said, however, that have been a few instances where a coyote has attacked a family pet. But those cases usually happen whenever the coyote feels provoked. So, the best thing to do if you spot one is to simply leave it alone.

“Continue your walk, observe it, don’t chase it,” he said. “If it comes over or wants to get close to you, make some noise. If there’s something around, maybe throw some rocks, yell at it, to discourage it to go away.”

Another key point of advice is to make sure you aren’t leaving out any kind of food that they can get to. When coyotes start to associate people with access to food, they can potentially lose their fear of humans and act more aggressively.